Telemedicine Reaches Parish Government
Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to formally open its first Telemedicine Clinic on Friday, March 27. The clinic, located inside the City Hall building at 705 W. University Avenue, saw its first patient on March 16.
The telemedicine clinic is available to the approximate 2,200 employees of LCG. These employees can now enjoy convenient access to a physician without having to leave work – and in many cases – get to return to work after their visit.
The LCG Telemedicine Clinic, powered by LUS Fiber, will link to physicians at Lafayette General Health’s Urgent Care Centers and to the Family Medicine practice of Fallon McManus, M.D., a member of Lafayette General Medical Doctors (LGMD) physician group. The clinic is open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A live demonstration of the clinic was conducted during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Telemedicine allows a doctor to visit with a patient in a different location via high-speed internet connection. Tools, such as a digital stethoscope or otoscope, transmit accurate and real-time readings to the physician’s office. A nurse at the clinic aids the patient and serves as a communication liaison for the physician. In many cases, with the medical peripherals and zoom capabilities, the physician can actually see the image better over video than with the human eye. The patient also has the ability to see the same thing as the physician during the visit.
Telemedicine can help prevent long-term health problems because employees are more likely to seek professional treatment, rather than letting conditions worsen, which may eventually require urgent care or emergency room visits. This also benefits the employer because healthier employees are happier and more productive.
“It is well documented that patients who have, and visit, a primary care physician have lower overall health costs than those that do not,” stated LGMD Chief Administrative Officer Al Patin. “Telemedicine has been shown to reduce the cost of healthcare and increase efficiency through better management of disease processes, shared health professional staffing, reduced travel times, and fewer and/or shorter hospital stays.”
Lafayette General operates a similar telemedicine clinic at Stuller, Inc.’s global headquarters. The clinic, opened in 2012, was the first of its kind in Lafayette. LGH also runs a school-based telemedicine clinic between Ossun Elementary and Carencro Middle School.